In sports, everyone is a winner-some people just win better than others. Like Agent Zero, who had managed to stay away from controversy for a whole five months, until he admitted he faked an injury to give a buddy some PT.
The mercurial (it's mandated in the AP Stylebook that we use that adjective) superstar keeps coming up with ways to surprise us, just when we think we've seen it all from him. But last night he showed a new wrinkle, managing to show incredible loyalty to a young teammate, while simultaneously disrespecting his coach and paying customers.
The morning before the preseason home opener, Arenas apparently told Flip Saunders he had an owie.
We had two hard days of practice, so it's a little sore and stiff as far as today," Saunders said pregame. "At least that's what he said to me at the shootaround. So based on that, I don't think he'll play."
Arenas did sit, and underachieving Nick Young started in his place, scoring a team-high 24.
All was well in Washington, until Young mentioned to some reporters that Arenas had been talking to him about "sacrifice." They scurried over to Arenas's locker to ask just what that meant:
I told him I'd sacrifice playing tonight so he'd get some time. Because I know he's kind of frustrated not getting a chance to crank it up at the three position, especially since we're going three guards. So I told him I'd fake an injury or say something's wrong with me. So that's why he said sacrifice."
I'm sure the 9,000 fans who came to see the return of Gilbert were thrilled for Nick Young, no matter how much he deserves preseason minutes. (Actually, I think they were thrilled to see John Wall go for 19 and 7.) And they and Flip Saunders would rather Arenas feign injury than actually be injured. So, no harm, no foul. It's just good to have the old, unreliable Gilbert back.